Let’s talk about something quick and easy you can do to prevent anxiety or at the very least greatly reduce the effects it has on you. It’s going for a walk regularly. It’s another one of those deceptively simple strategies that work very well. For quite a few people with mild to moderate anxiety, it tends to get better results than medication. All it takes is a pair of comfortable shoes and as little as 15 minutes of your time.
While walking won’t stop the anxiety causing thoughts and isn’t a complete cure, it will allow you to cope with your anxiety much better. It will bring you relief and keep you from worrying and stressing about it.
Walking works in a variety of different ways to help with anxiety. The first is the simple act that you’re moving around. It has an instantly calming effect. I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s hard to sit still when you’re nervous and anxious. You feel like you have to move around. Take it to the next level by going for a brisk walk.
We’ve talked about breathing exercises in a past post. Walking forces you to take slow and steady breaths, making you do a simple, calming breathing exercise while you walk without you noticing it. As an added bonus, the walk will distract you from your negative and worrying thoughts. This is particularly true and helpful if you walk outside in a pretty setting like a park.
Last but not least, exercise including walking releases endorphins that improve your mood and calm you down. They directly counteract the excess adrenalin that causes you to feel anxious and fearful.
After a nice walk, you’ll feel noticeably calmer and more content. The longer you walk, the better you feel, but even something as simple as a 15 minute stroll through the neighborhood will bring you relief.
There are two ways you can use walking to combat anxiety. The first is as immediate treatment. Go for a quick walk when you are feeling anxious. The quicker you can catch it and get moving, the better. A short walk can stop the anxiety from getting worse and get you back to feeling your happy, normal self.
Don’t just stop there though. Make it a habit to go for a daily walk. Make it part of your routine. Get that blood moving, and get those endorphins flowing through your system. Not only is it great for your overall health and wellbeing, it will also reduce how often and how severe your anxiety attacks are. Give it a try. Commit to a daily walk and see these benefits for yourself.